Startup company

Investors are waking up to the emotional struggle of startup founders

Mahendra Ramsinghani Contributor Mahendra Ramsinghani is the founder of Secure Octane, a Silicon Valley-based cybersecurity seed fund. More posts by this contributor Lessons from cybersecurity exits Is Symantec getting ready to buy Splunk? As the Gartner Hype Curve goes, from the peak of inflated expectations to the trough of disillusionment, so goes the founder’s emotional journey. Most founders hit the trough sooner or later, the proverbial nadir of their startup life. The company’s business model undergoes the dreaded pivot. Teams dissipate and the foundation starts to fall apart. Startups die. Investors cut their losses and move on to the rosier pastures of their portfolio. And what is often left is a depressed broken founder, dealing with the consequences of ‘crushing it’. But too oft...

TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield is coming soon to Beirut, São Paolo and Lagos

Everyone knows there are thriving startup communities outside of obvious hubs, like San Francisco, Berlin, Bangalore and Beijing, but they don’t always get the support they deserve. Last year, TechCrunch took a major page from its playbook, the Startup Battlefield competition, and staged the event in Nairobi, Kenya to find the best early stage startup in Sub-Saharan Africa, and also to Sydney, Australia, to find the same for Australia and New Zealand. Both were successes, thanks to talented founders and the hard traveling TechCrunch team. And now we’re pleased to announce that we’re stepping up our commitment to emerging ecosystems. TechCrunch is once again teaming up with Facebook, our partner for last year’s Nairobi event, to bring the Startup Battlefield to three major cities representi...

Investing in frontier technology is (and isn’t) cleantech all over again

Shahin Farshchi Contributor More posts by this contributor Investing in frontier technology is (and isn’t) cleantech all over again The dos and don’ts of crafting frontier-tech companies I entered the world of venture investing a dozen years ago.  Little did I know that I was embarking on a journey to master the art of balancing contradictions: building up experience and pattern recognition to identify outliers, emphasizing what’s possible over what’s actual, generating comfort and consensus around a maverick founder with a non-consensus view, seeking the comfort of proof points in startups that are still very early, and most importantly, knowing that no single lesson learned can ever be applied directly in the future as every future scenario will certainly be different. I was fortunate to...

New York’s programming ed tech startup, General Assembly, sells to Adecco for $413 million

The European human resources services company Adecco Group said that is acquiring the New York-based, programming, design, and management training startup General Assembly for $413 million. With the acquisition, Adecco adds to its ability to provide job training and re-skilling services for businesses. It’s proof that General Assembly’s own business has come a long way since its early days as a startup offering continuing education or training programs for new entrants into the tech-enabled white collar workforce. General Assembly was worth $440 million after its last, $70 million investment round, according to a report in Axios, which means that early stage investors will see a nice return on their investment while many later stage backers — including Wellington Management and Fresco Capi...

Join me at the amazing Blue Lacuna space in Chicago

Some folks I met in Chicago are holding an amazing event at a great place on South Canalport Avenue. This former macaroni factory now builds startups and I’ll be helping judge their pitch-off alongside some Chicago luminaries. You can RSVP here and sign up for a spot to pitch here. We’ll choose eight startups to pitch there are some great prizes available. Blue Lacuna is at 2150 South Canalport Avenue in Chicago and the event is on April 19 at 6pm. Grab your tickets early for this cool meet and greet.

As UK fires-up private space industry, Space Camp Accelerator launches

The UK government recently passed the Space Industry Bill, covering the basics like spaceflight licensing, insurance requirements and safety commitments. It didn’t make much of a splash when it was announced, but it’s a huge move for the UK as it laid the regulatory groundwork that will be needed to create an operational spaceport, potentially by 2020. Some £10 million has been earmarked to build the spaceports and complementary projects, and the UK is also set to create the world’s first fully commercial astronaut training ground, with construction expected to start later this year. A new UK spaceport would actually make it the first such port in Europe, since the European Space Agency’s (ESA) is located in the not-very-European-location of French Guiana in South America. The UK is alread...

Southern California needs to find its hub for it to develop its own tech ecosystem

Recognizing the tens of billions of dollars that the Southern Californian region leaves on the table, because it hasn’t taken its rightful place in the American technology industry, a new group called  the Alliance for Southern California Innovation has just released a report to analyze how SoCal can work to assume its pole position. Through interviews with 100 leaders of the technology ecosystem and an analysis of venture capital funding for the region, the organization has concluded (with the help of the Boston Consulting Group) that the promise of a regional rival to Northern California’s silicon valley won’t be fulfilled without the establishment of a geographic hub and a willingness to overcome regional differences. Founded by Steve Poizner last year to accelerate the growth of a star...

EdTech is having a renaissance, powered by the emerging world

So-called ‘EdTech’ has seen many false dawns over the years. After being lauded as the teaching platforms of the future, most MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course platforms) have not quite lived up to the superlatives made for them, and the sector has had trouble coming up with more innovative ideas for a while. But that appears to be changing if a new wave of startups is any indication. In Dubai this weekend I was invited to judge a number of education startups which are really trying to move the need on EdTech, and in particular on a sector with almost unlimited potential. That is, education platforms aimed at the emerging world, where the hunger for scalable education is almost incalculable. Consider this: Ethopia, now a far more stable country that it once was, contains more people under ...

Late-blooming startups can still thrive

Joanna Glasner Contributor More posts by this contributor What does it take to be a startup that raises huge sums quickly? Not a minimalist? Startups will gladly store, manage and deliver your items It seems like startup news is full of overnight success stories and sudden failures, like the scooter rental company that went from zero to a $300 million valuation in months or the blood-testing unicorn that went from billions to nearly naught. But what about those other companies that mature more gradually? Is there such a thing as slow and successful in startup-land? To contemplate that question, Crunchbase News set out to assemble a data set of top late-blooming startups. We looked at companies that were founded in or before 2010 that raised large amounts of capital after 2015, and we also ...

The case for boosting enterprise software startups with services

  Martin Casado Contributor Martin Casado, is a general partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. He was previously the cofounder and chief technology officer at Nicira, which was acquired by VMware in 2012. One of the truisms of software business strategy is that services is bad business; heck, we’ve also said it. The reason, put bluntly, is that it’s a business with low margins and is not as scalable. So in the early days of bringing to market a complex enterprise software product, the repeated feedback I got from nearly all my advisors was to make sure customers were paying for software licenses, not services. (Although I remember when receiving this advice in the early days of Nicira that I wished I even had the problem of money coming in the “wrong” way in the first pla...

Bose is carving out $50 million for startups using its new audio-focused AR tech

The high-end audio technology company Bose is getting into the augmented reality game with a new product and a $50 million fund devoted to startups that will develop services for its new platform. While most of the industry is focused on a visually augmented experience, Bose is most concerned with the intersection of sound and vision. The Bose AR prototype, which was unveiled at South by Southwest in Austin this year, will use visual information captured by the glasses and add contextually relevant audio information to its wearer. Bose’s AR kit is a “wafer-thin” acoustics package that the company hopes can be added to headphones, eyewear, helmets and other wearables to give a new spin on reality “augmentation.” The company said the new technology can be controlled with voice commands, head...

Startups are (still) making weird name choices

If the latest seed-funded startups have their way, this is what your future will look like. You’ll find your mortgage through a company named Morty, refill your contact lenses with Waldo and get your cannabis news from Herb. (Which is not to be confused with Bud, the startup that handles your banking.) Later, you can use Cake Technologies to pay the bar tab, cover fertility treatments with Carrot Fertility and get your workers’ compensation through Pie Insurance. Afterward, rent your neighbor’s stuff with Fat Lama, manage your cloud services with LunchBadger and network your way to a better career with Purple Squirrel. Notice any patterns here? Yes, first names, foods and animals have been quite popular lately with founders choosing startup names. Those are a few of the top naming trends C...

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